Lifestyle

I Hired An On-Demand Masseuse In The Office During Working Hours, For Research Purposes

When we first featured Sentuh, we spoke to CEO and founder Ahmad Aizuddin on how he conceived the idea of his mobile spa startup and built it. 

Sentuh is a mobile wellness service that allows you to book and enjoy a spa appointment from the comfort of your own place.

All you need to do is confirm the slot and package deal you want, and a Sentuh massage therapist will come to give you a one-on-one session, whether it’s at home (Sentuh Lite and Sentuh Luxe) or at the office (Sentuh Executive).

Image Credit: Sentuh

Being a fan of massage parlours, I was psyched to try them out and actually had the opportunity to be the office’s guinea pig for a Sentuh session.

On the day that we had agreed upon for the session, the Sentuh team arrived at our office about 20-25 minutes before schedule to set up.

The team included one male therapist for two male colleagues of mine, and one female therapist for me. We booked different package deals, so the guys got the All Stress, OUT! package (quotation based pricing) and I got the full-experience Corporate FTW massage (RM140).

The All Stress, OUT! is a chair massage for about 30 minutes on your hands, back and shoulders.

The Corporate FTW, on the other hand, is a full body massage for 60 minutes.

Each of Sentuh’s therapists is certified by Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM) or other Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) certified institutions.

Time To Get Sentuh’d

My massage therapist, Norria, took about 10 minutes altogether to set up. Sentuh brings everything from A-Z themselves (body oils, the prop-up bed, towels, modesty cloths, washcloths, humidifier, speakers for music) so I had absolutely nothing to do but to get undressed. 

How Sentuh sets up each session

And yes, you’ll need to get proper nude for Sentuh’s Corporate FTW body massage, much like any other Thai massage.

I was a little weirded about getting rubbed down while I could still hear my colleagues in the next room, clicking away at their keyboards.

Because of this, the first 10 minutes was just about me getting comfortable with this new, bizarre situation. But then—Norria to the rescue.

She amped up the background sound (without me asking) to drown out the keyboard clacking and office sounds in the next room.

Anyway, I understand being too weirded out by stripping down while still in the office to be comfortable with it.

However, Sentuh Executive (which are the massages geared towards workplaces) has about 7 massages in total you can opt for, so you can always get something else less exposing.

Right now, only their Corporate FTW and CEO Luxe Massages are full-body ones, but you have plenty of other options non-full-body options. 

Traditional vs. Mobile Spas

The scented body oils, humidifier and background music were definitely an effort to replicate the traditional spa experience.

But let’s face it, a darkened office room can’t quite compare to Thai Odyssey’s warm lighting and heavily serai infused air, which should come as no surprise to anyone.

A sneak peek at how Norria works her magic

This doesn’t have anything to do with Norria’s abilities however, as her methods of massage were still very much up to par of how a traditional full-body massage usually feels.

There’s just something about having a million thoughts running through your head about work and deadlines that don’t allow you to fully relax.

But even with it being the middle of a workday, Sentuh still tried their best to give me the best possible relaxing experience they could.

One of my colleagues during his own pamper session

I was pleasantly surprised at how observant Norria was about the session as well. She noted that my right foot was slightly more swollen than my left (her explanation was because I was used to resting my entire body’s weight to my right when I stood) and just how much of tension was accumulated in my neck.

Norria didn’t adopt the approach of nagging me about how I don’t take care of myself (I’m looking at you, hair salon aunties) but instead just brought some concerns up so that I could look into avoiding certain things that would be bad for my body. 

If you’re worried about getting soaked in sticky oils during work, you don’t have to. For all of their Executive packages, Sentuh uses a moisturizing lotion instead of heavy oils so that it won’t stain or leave residue on your work clothes.

The Verdict

As for my male colleagues, they went on to describe the experience as “not too overpowering” and “gentle, yet firm”, which I experienced during my own session too.

I feel like all three of us had similar experiences, which probably means their therapists are trained to be gentle and sensitive towards their clients, and to always be attentive to any problem areas. 

Our massages were also priced affordably for the duration of our experiences.

I did a little digging on Fave to see the average prices of in-store, full-body massages from various merchants there.

Image Credit: Fave

At first glance, the prices on Fave look much better considering some of them are even a bundle package for 2 people.

Most of the time though, these are one-off deals limited for each first-time user and would only apply for the first ever redemption. So in the end, you would probably need to fork out much more than what’s shown here for a second session.

Plus, not everyone has the time to make their way to a parlour that could be an hour away.

Because of the price and effort involved in scheduling time for a traditional massage, I treat massages like a luxury. I reward myself with one every few months (when I’m done with a stressful semester, etc.) but Sentuh’s approach differs.

I believe they’re in the business of making massages more accessible, cost-effective and as a necessary way to wind down instead of just a once in a time thing.

However, it is worth noting that Sentuh’s not the only player in this line of business, as there are others too, like Sparadise and Q Mobile Spa.

How To Book One Of Your Own Experiences

Sentuh does plan to streamline their booking process by launching a mobile app either in March or April this year.

Right now, they rely on customers booking sessions through their online dashboard.

Image Credit: Sentuh

Here, you’ll be able to access your past and scheduled bookings, vouchers, etc. If you plan to book sessions in multiple places (say your office on Tuesdays and your house on Fridays), you could add multiple addresses here as well.

However, if you’re booking sessions for colleagues/employees in an office or event space—you’d still have to fill in their website form to receive an official quotation.

They try to be as transparent as possible with how Sentuh Executive is calculated though and provided us with the below for reference:

Image Credit: Sentuh

Sentuh Executive packages will vary in pricing depending on the number of people receiving the massage, number of therapists, your budget as well as the length of the session or events.

Not All Things Should Be Sentuh’d

Before any session, there are certain things the team would like you to keep in mind.

The most obvious one being is that they are 100% intolerable towards any hanky panky. This means all sexual remarks, suggestions or invitations would be met with immediate termination of the session—yet the client in question is still liable for full payment.

All therapists are also trained to keep their hands away from genitalia. They also make sure that only female therapists get assigned to female clients, and the same way goes for the men.

Also, your therapists are not your therapists. If during the session you bring up topics that are of political, sexual or way too private in nature—they are free to leave the session at any time.

If for some reason you want to cancel the session before going through with it, that has to be done 72 hours before the scheduled date, or else, you would either be only liable to a 50% refund. If it’s made less than 24 hours before, then you wouldn’t get one at all.

  • You can read more about other review pieces we’ve written here.

Featured Image Credit: Sentuh / Vulcan Post

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